Celtic Horse Tattoos
Epona tattoos are perfect examples of classic Celtic traditional tattooing.
They are characteristic of a horse or multiple horses surrounded by Celtic knot tattoos.
The Epona, or the horse Goddess to the Celtics, represented the spirit of the land and demanded respect of whichever King was ruling that land.
The Goddess’ name when translated from Gaulish means “Divine Mare,” and she was so popular at a time, in fact, that she was represented by an entire temple in Rome along with a Roman festival in her honor.
This makes for a highly special tattoo, which represents protection (especially for horses or those who take care of horses).
Let’s take a look at some Epona tattoo designs and what they mean:
- Triple-Horse Knot Tattoo
This tattoo design comes from a Scottish engraving found on a rock in Scottland of three interlocked horses encompassed by Celtic knots.
The three horses represent three times the protection that one would normally receive from an Epona tattoo.
This tattoo is for those who a proud to share a cultural heritage and ancestry with the Celts, and for those who wish to be protected by a high Goddess.
- Epona Face in Knots Tattoo
Another popular Epona tattoo is one where Epona’s face is constructed with knots and thick lines made with black ink.
Sometimes, some of the areas of Epona’s face are filled in with red in order to make the design more interesting and striking.
This kind of Epona tattoo represents the spirit of the land as well as freedom.
Anyone with this tattoo has the spirit of Epona which is one that is bold, free-spirited, and fiercely protective over those who you love.
- Horse with Flowing Mane
Additionally, some people may want to receive an Epona tattoo that shows Epona running with her long mane flowing in the wind.
This tattoo undoubtedly is for those who feel as though they are in the power of the land that they live on and have a free and caring spirit.
This Epona tattoo is for someone who controls part of a company or a department and therefore “rules the land.”
This small piece of power is under your control but you rule with kindness and consideration for others and you protect them as a father would of his son.
- Epona On Celtic Knots Tattoo
One less common Epona tattoo is a side view of Epona standing with one hoof in the air with intricate Celtic knots filling in the background.
These knot tattoos can have various meanings, such as love, protection, fertility, connection, loyalty, faith, or leadership.
Any of these meanings combined with the meaning of protection and spirit of the land with the Epona can create an interesting tattoo.
This tattoo is highly meaningful and the design is flexible with the ability to change the meaning based on which Celtic knots are used.
- Epona Vs. Epona Tattoo
If you would prefer a larger tattoo to showcase your Epona tattoo, you could choose a sleeve that shows two Epona’s facing each other.
This tattoo design often uses a lot of different Celtic knots in the sleeve, as well as other Celtic tattoo symbols such as birds or monsters.
This tattoo means that you have double the protection of the Epona and that the spirit of Epona is ready to jump in and defend you at a moment’s whim.
- Intertwined Epona Tattoo
There is another Epona tattoo design where two Epona’s are intertwined with one another as if their bodies become serpents and their tails are linked together.
One of the Epona’s is an outline or is white, while the other is filled in with black ink.
Their bodies are also filled in with Celtic tattoo designs and knots.
This tattoo means that your own spirit is intertwined with the land and with the people that you spend your time with.
The meaning is linked to how you promise to defend more than just your honor in life– you feel responsible for your neighbors, friends, and family.
Would You Get an Epona Tattoo?
Admittedly, Epona tattoos are not the most common kind of Celtic tattoo.
Although Epona had a temple in Rome, not many people today even know who Epona is.
However, now that you know more about the great meanings behind the Epona tattoo you may want to consider receiving one.
The symbolism of protection and the spirit of the land are meanings that ring true for many people, even if you don’t have any power among your people.
Simply using an Epona tattoo as a promise to provide protection for your family and friends is noble indeed.
Alyssa Renee McCormack is a writer, curator, and photographer who publishes articles on the topics of the arts, culture, and social justice. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in fashion business and art history and museum professions. Her experience working with a variety of art institutions, her world travel, and her inquisitive nature provides her with a unique insight. Check out her about page, she would love to connect with you!